Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fair Trouble

Not only are some art fairs both in the US and abroad (Germany and UK) cancelling - like artDC did for DC area - but another sign of fair troubles is the fact that many US art fairs have and are extending their deadlines for gallery applications.

That possibly means that not enough galleries are applying. And when the fair organizers actually call you to talk you into applying, that's certainly a bleak sign of harsh times ahead.

This is where the market decides who floats and who sinks. It will be interesting to see what Armory week looks like this weekend in NYC.

Cuban Art is Caliente!

From the Wall Street Journal:

With art from Asia and Russia in demand, some in the art world are betting on Cuba to be the next hot corner of the market. Prices for Cuban art are climbing at galleries and auction houses, and major museums are adding to their Cuban collections. In May, Sotheby's broke the auction record for a Cuban work when it sold Mario CarreƱo's modernist painting "Danza Afro-Cubana" for $2.6 million, triple its high estimate.

Now, with a new Cuban president in power and some hope emerging for looser travel and trade restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba, American collectors and art investors are moving quickly to tap into the market. Some are getting into Cuba by setting up humanitarian missions and scouting art while they're there. Others are ordering works from Cuba based on email images and having them shipped.

The collectors are taking advantage of a little-known exception to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba: It is legal for Americans to buy Cuban art.
I will be curating two Cuban art shows this year: one in Norfolk opening next April 12 for Mayer Fine Art and another in Maryland later this year for H&F Fine Arts.

One thing to be careful about: there will be chaos when the Cuban dictators finally step aside, and I suspect that "government sanctioned artists" will not be at the top of their game - if anything, collecting dissident Cuban art is the key.

I've been telling all of you for years now: Buy Cuban art!